Review: Chicken Scream App

  There is a new app that’s out and is going viral. It is called Chicken Scream. The basic premise of the app is to allow your voice to control the chicken. Make a soft noise and the chicken walks, make a loud noise and the chicken jumps. I first heard about this app in the iPad Piano Teachers Group and my first thought was hilarious! My second thought of course was how well would this work with piano? So I tried it… As you can see this would be a fun app to use with students when teaching dynamics regardless what […]

When Lessons Get Challenging…

I have never been a big hiker but I do love the view at the end of a hike. When we were in Hawaii almost a year and a half ago, my husband wanted our family to hike Diamond Head. He warned the kids and I to be physically ready because we were doing it whether we were ready or not Despite his warnings, not a lot of preparation went into it. While I have my cardio routine that I am pretty consistent each week, I wasn’t prepared for a couple things. 1) The climb. I should have used the treadmill incline […]

Let’s All Make a Drum!

  It’s MIOSM! In today’s post I am participating in MusicEdBlogs 31 Days of Rhythm. Back in 2011, I had the opportunity to participate in a 3-day Roots of Rhythm workshop given by Dr. Craig Woodson of Ethnomusic and Frank Thompson with AZ Rhythm Connection. In this workshop, we learned about percussion instruments from around the world within their respective cultural and historical contexts.  We also learned how to make at least a dozen different types of drums or rhythm instruments. We would then use the instruments we made in a drum circle. Shortly after I participated in this workshop, I did a Roots of Rhythm […]

From Preschoolers to Adults

  Have you ever had a student hide under the grand piano playing a little hide and seek the second you turned your back? How about a really wiggly student who just couldn’t sit still? Or maybe an adult student who’s lesson time was over and realizing after sharing about their life’s challenges they hadn’t touched the piano at all? These are just some of the things that I have experienced with students over the years. Did you know that all these scenarios are typical of certain age characteristics? When it comes to teaching, understanding the different age groups is […]

10 Body Beat Activities to Engage Students Today!

    It’s MIOSM month! In today’s post I am participating in MusicEdBlogs 31 Days of Rhythm. I thought I would kick off this post with a little Stomp. Love Stomp! One of these days I will actually see them live! Body beat or body percussion activities is one of my favorite activities to do with students. The great thing is you don’t have to worry about any instruments! Our body is the instrument! Students can clap, snap, stomp, pat or click. Body beat activities also work well if you are needing a quick activity to end your class. It […]

From Stagnant to Engaging!

As teachers, we know all too well that no two students are exactly alike. For this reason, it is important that we change up our teaching styles, strategies and techniques to prevent our lessons from becoming stagnant. The not so great news is we are creatures of habit. It’s easy to teach the same way, from the same lesson plans and material that we are comfortable with over and over. I know I have been guilty of this many times over the years. The problem with that is our lessons get stagnant and predictable. Stagnant lessons can dis-engage students. The […]

Establish an Engaged Learning Environment

  The following article was recently published in the March issue of The Piano Bench Magazine, a magazine I highly recommend. It is an app you can find in the iTunes Store or GooglePlay Store and read from your mobile device. Engaging our students can sometimes feel overwhelming especially when a teacher might be feeling a bit burned out.  But did you know that when we truly engage our students in their learning we can also be engaged in our teaching? And visa versa. This is because students respond more positively when they are interested and engaged in what they are learning. That positive energy can return […]